President's plane leaves South Africa as court continues to hear case on whether he should be arrested on ICC warrant.
Sudan's information minister has said that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir flew out of South Africa on Monday, defying a high court order which banned him from leaving the country until an application calling for his arrest had been heard.
"Yes, he has left," Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman confirmed to Al Jazeera, saying that South Africa had always agreed not to arrest the president while he was in the country for the African Union summit.
"President Bashir is not a prisoner inside Sudan," he added, saying that the president was due to land back in Khartoum at about 6:30pm local time (15:30 GMT).
An interim order was made by the high court in Pretoria on Sunday, barring President Bashir from leaving South Africa, pending an application from civil society organisations calling for his arrest on an International Criminal Court warrant.
Earlier on Monday, Osman said the president would return to Sudan regardless of whether the high court ordered his arrest.
"The [South African] judiciary...does not have policemen... No one is going to arrest him."
The South African state broadcaster, SABC, reported at about 10:15 GMT on Monday that the president's plane had flown out of the Waterkloof air force base, on the outskirts of Pretoria.